Early detection and intervention for babies who are on the Autism Spectrum:
Early detection of autism characteristics is crucial in your child’s journey to treatment. Although a new diagnosis or suspicion of autism may be an emotional challenge, it is very important to the child’s growth and development. Early detection and diagnosis can open many opportunities for treatment, support, and early intervention.
What is Autism? What are the early signs to watch for?
Autism is a spectrum disorder under the category of developmental delay. A spectrum disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms that may or may not be present with varying severity. Symptoms of autism may include impaired social skills ( poor eye contact, lack of affection, lack of empathy, disinterest in peers or toys etc.) , impaired communication abilities (repetitive speech, impaired vocal communication etc.), and be accompanied by repetitive behavior (fixation on various topics or interests, rocking, hand flapping, toe walking etc.).
5 signs or symptoms of Autism in babies:
- Minimal response to sounds and familiar voices is another common characteristic. You may notice your child does not flinch or seem to register loud noises in the environment, he or she may not respond to your voice when you call or speak to them.
- Lack of gestural communication to get attentions such as holding arms out, pointing, waving, or shaking head.
- Your child may not make vocalizations such as cooing, babbling, or other baby talk. Many parents begin to feel concerned when they notice that their child is not speaking or attempting to make vocal sounds during infancy.
- Disinterest in acts of affection such as cuddles, hugs, or other forms of touch. Many children with autism are sensory sensitive and may not like to be touched, other children simply lack interest in these social practices.
- Delayed imitation typically relating to “watch and learn” behaviors from parents, siblings, or other children.
Delayed milestones and early warning signs does not guarantee an Autism diagnosis:
Although your child may demonstrate delays in similar area’s listed above, a single symptom may not mean autism. Autism is diagnosed based on a collective number of symptoms causing impairment of functioning. Your diagnostician will provide testing to rule out other potential medical or cognitive possibilities or confirm an autism diagnosis.
What should parents do if they detect any of these red flags?
If you have concerns about your child’s development it is important to discuss this with your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor may not detect these signs during a short routine visit and it is important to notify them of any concerns you have.
Although autism can seem like a scary thing the most important thing to remember is to advocate for your child’s needs. Early detection can allow early intensive therapies to minimize the symptoms and teach your child the skills they need to grow and learn.
Are you a parent of a child with Autism?
Learn more about Key Autism Services.
Our ABA therapists travel to your home to provide unique treatment plans for kids and teens with autism.
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